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Woman-owned Cybersecurity Business, SPHERE, Secures $10 Million in Series A Funding

SPHERE, a woman-owned cybersecurity business focused on providing best-of-breed software and services for access governance across data, platforms and applications, today announced a $10 million series A round led by ForgePoint Capital with participation from security leaders including Omkhar Arasaratnam (former Executive Director, Head of Data Protection Technology at JPMorgan Chase); Joel Caminer (former Global Head of Technology Risk Management and Information Security at TD Securities); Adnane Charchour (former President & CEO at Scivantage) and Sounil Yu (former Chief Security Scientist at Bank of America). Don Dixon and Will Lin, Managing Directors at ForgePoint Capital, will join SPHERE's board of directors.

The capital will be used to expand the scope of the company's existing capabilities, with an emphasis on cloud platforms such as Office 365. To add, the company is expanding their managed service operations, including its purpose-built automation platform, SPHEREboard, along with targeted SME's across the SPHERExperts team. Together, this solution is described as SPHEREsoftserve, combining automation and expertise to provide a seamless and effective solution to SPHERE's customers.  

"In 2021, we continue our partnership with SPHERE to immediately remediate and have long term management processes for a variety of privileged access, data governance and data integrity functions throughout our global organization," said Ramin Safai, Managing Director, Chief Technology and Chief Information Security Officer at Jefferies Group LLC, a global, full-service investment banking firm headquartered in the U.S. "The team at SPHERE is giving us the insights and technology platforms we need to securely manage our most valued assets."

SPHEREsoftserve provides a unified approach, improving processes and procedures leveraging technology and skillset for a consistent and predictable outcome. Additionally, SPHEREsoftserve provides customized problem solving, marrying the requirements to the unique nature and culture of each of its customers and providing flexible integration options to operationalize existing investments. All this increases adoption of core governance, security and compliance programs, expands coverage of access controls and improves ROI.

"As large organizations are honing in on the need to improve access controls, and they look to migrate data into the cloud, proper visibility with a plan to remediate and maintain an evergreen process, will be critical to how well the organization functions, and the level of security they achieve," said Rita Gurevich, CEO and Founder, SPHERE. "We are excited to partner with ForgePoint Capital to scale our offering to meet the growing demand for automation, supported by a team of experts, by helping organizations simplify reporting and remediation to eliminate risk."

The solution provides companies who are increasingly focusing on implementing a Least Privileged Access model, to minimize the risk of a data breach and implement better access controls. Also, an increasing number of firms within regulated industries that were historically hesitant to move beyond closed, legacy systems are now realizing the need to capitalize on the cost benefits and flexibility of cloud applications, while recognizing the importance of putting security and compliance at the forefront of these migrations. SPHERE will continue to innovate with a goal of providing a single pane of glass across both on-premise and cloud systems, and provide the expertise to ensure all access controls are in place and managed appropriately.

"Don and I are excited to lead SPHERE's first financing and to have met SPHERE via the ForgePoint advisory network," said Will Lin, Managing Director at ForgePoint Capital. "Rita and her team solve a fundamental problem that every large company struggles with but doesn't have an automated solution for: entitlement creep. With SPHERE's decade of experience and validated references, we're thrilled to support a company with a viable answer to this pervasive problem."

SPHERE's leadership team has productized over 10 years of experience, leveraging even many more decades of experience in executing a proven methodology for analyzing and remediating access control issues to deal with the ongoing entitlement sprawl that organizations are experiencing. The solution is practical and achieves the goals of Least Privileged Access in an efficient and effective manner. This helps businesses mitigate the risks related to high volumes of unstructured data, often layered with improperly managed mailboxes and Active Directory objects, along with inappropriate end user and administrative access to critical systems. Companies struggle with a complex network of inappropriate permissions and inaccurate ownership that exacerbates the problem that SPHERE solves.

"Having 3 decades of experience helping companies operate properly and grow, I was incredibly impressed with SPHERE's value proposition and its roster of customers," explains Don Dixon, Co-Founder and Managing Director at ForgePoint Capital. "Few organizations are able to perform both services and provide critical software to their customers in parallel. In cybersecurity, there is a major shortage of talent along with automation and SPHERE's ability to deliver on both requirements is very unique."

SPHERE's automation techniques, coupled with thought leadership delivered through its expansive service delivery function, are designed to provide deep analysis on user entitlements across every platform and streamline remediation and ongoing attestation requirements. With this funding round, SPHERE will apply its end-to-end holistic approach to deliver deeper, smarter and more automated solutions to reduce risk to better govern access controls across assets.

SPHERE has redefined how organizations achieve controls across their environments. They recognized that these growing needs require both automation through product and proficiency through services. Having focused on both these solutions in their portfolio, the award-winning company has excelled at serving the world's largest companies in the Fortune 500 and managing many billions of assets. Preceding SPHERE's market growth, the company was bootstrapped by Founder and CEO, Rita Gurevich, which she built from the ground up in 2010.

Published Thursday, February 18, 2021 12:40 PM by David Marshall
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